Read Or Die Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ Read or Die: Shadowcat! ❯ Chapter 18
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Shadowcat: Read or Die!
Kitty, Drake and Yomiko left the junction behind as they cautiously used the map Kitty had downloaded to make their way downstairs. The tunnels they hurried through were dark, lit only by low level lighting, and the walls were lined by an almost unearthly technology.
"Wonder where the hell he got the technology to do this?" Drake Anderson mused, the tall blonde man stopping the others as he checked around a corner. Satisfied the coast was clear he waved them on, following with his gun at the ready.
Kitty Pryde walked beside Yomiko, occasionally reaching out gently to steady the other woman as they hurried towards the elevators. "According to some friends of mine Sinister's been around a pretty long time," the brown haired girl revealed, "maybe more than a hundred years. With that much time building up exotic technologies wouldn't be that hard."
"Incredible," Yomiko Readman murmured as they finally reached the elevators, the black haired young woman hitting the call switch.
Drake kept a wary eye out as the elevator arrived, doors opening with a soft chime. Gennai Hiraga looked out at them, the black haired samurai's eyes widening as he blurted, "You?"
Kitty didn't even think about it, lunging forward to phase herself through him and his electric battery backpack. There was a flare of light as her abilities disrupted the device, then a stunned cry as Gennai convulsed, electricity shorting out his body and dropping him to the floor, unconscious.
"Damn," Drake blurted, "I never even had a chance to shoot!"
"Sorry," Kitty said, frowning as she realized an electrical bolt had hit the elevator's control panel, "I figured it would be best to hit him before he had a chance to zap us." She pressed the down button once or twice then shook her head, "It's shorted out, too."
"We can always try the stairs," Yomiko sighed.
A few minutes later the three of them were running down the stairs, all around them the sound of pipes rattling and the scent of ozone hanging in the air. "So this Sinister... how can we hurt him?" Drake asked.
"Directly?" Kitty raised an eyebrow as they turned a corner and continued on down, "Not very easily. He used an artificial body the first time the X-men fought him that could take anything they could dish out."
"And my power over paper?" Yomiko asked, pushing up her glasses when they threatened to slide right off her nose.
"From things the X-men found out later Sinister had been spying on them for years... it's probably how he built a body to protect himself from their powers," Kitty said, "I doubt that he's had the time to build a body to defend himself from you."
"Makes me wish I brought that rocket launcher along with me," Drake softly muttered. He smiled slightly as they reached the bottom, "I guess I get the job of keeping any of the other Ijin clones off of your backs?"
"Sounds like a plan," Kitty agreed.
"Should I..." Yomiko reached for the door handle.
Drake gently reached out to stop her as he said, "No, let me." Carefully he opened up the door and scanned the room just beyond, silently looking inside for a moment. "You two should see this," he said softly.
Kitty and Yomiko followed him inside, only to freeze in surprise. Massive tubes filled with green fluid bubbled along the walls of the chamber, and each of those eight foot tall tubes contained a figure floating inside. Some of them were familiar, others not, but it was the nearest figure that drew Kitty's eyes... because it was her.
The Kitty that floated in the tube looked a little younger, her brown hair flowing around her face in the fluid, a breathing tube connected to her mouth. The nails of her hands gleamed silver, razor sharp claws, and a faint trace work of white scars across her nude form indicated that other surgical modifications had been made.
"Did he build this... thing for 'Ogun, maybe?" Kitty asked softly, reaching out to touch the warm glass.
"Kitty," Yomiko placed a comforting hand on her shoulder,
"There's dozens of chambers," Drake noted as he quickly checked around the room, "several Ijin we know and a couple I don't recognize." He hesitated, looking at one tube not far away, "Yomiko, you wanted to know if Sinister created Nancy?"
Both Kitty and Yomiko headed over, gazing in surprise at the figure in awe. "Nancy," Yomiko breathed out, looking at the floating form of Nancy Mukahari.
The similarities between her and Kitty outweighed the few differences, like the black hair and larger bust, and it was like looking into a distorted mirror. "It's eerie," Kitty blinked.
Drake kept a wary eye out as he asked them, "So what do you want to do?"
"My first impulse is to trash the place," Kitty admitted, "Yomiko?"
Yomiko looked at the copy of the woman she once loved, and then looked towards Kitty with an oddly searching look. Whatever she was looking for she seemed to find in Kitty's eyes as she turned to Drake and said, "Destroy it."
With easy efficiency Drake pulled the explosives from his backpack and planted them around the chamber and on the tubes before leading the two women out of the room. They went up a floor before Drake took out the remote, "Ready?"
"Do it," Kitty nodded and Drake pushed the switch.
The entire building felt like it bucked, plaster falling from the roof around them as alarms finally sounded off in the distance. "Drake-san," Yomiko managed as Kitty helped hold the off-balance young woman up, "I think you might have overdone it a bit."
"I like to be thorough," Drake shrugged as they headed back up the stairs. "So are we heading up after Sinister, 'Ogun and the surviving Ijin?" he asked.
"If they were smart they'd have bolted at the first alarm," Kitty puffed, "but I'm hoping that destroying his cloning lab will piss Sinister off enough that he's not thinking clearly."
"You really want to get him, don't you?" Yomiko asked as they made it to the main floor.
Kitty flipped open the laptop, scrolling through the data that she had downloaded earlier in hopes of finding another elevator, in the process giving everyone a chance to catch their breaths. "Yes, I do," she admitted, "I feel oddly violated, knowing how he created copies of me."
"I'm sorry," Yomiko murmured, resting a hand on Kitty's arm.
"Thanks," Kitty smiled at her. She looked up at Drake as she continued, "There's another elevator, but it's on the other side of this floor."
"I don't want to climb stairs all the way up," Drake said with a tired shrug, "so let's go try out the other elevator."
The main floor was open to the public so it was more normal looking than the other parts of the building, but there was still an odd feel to it. "Where are the security guards?" Yomiko asked, wincing a bit as they ran by a wailing alarm.
"Considering all of Sinister's secrets, would you trust having normal security guards around?" Kitty asked wryly.
"True," Yomiko conceded.
"Which means we'll be facing Ijin guards instead," Drake noted. They came around a corner and spotted the elevators as he added, "You mind if I call the elevator this time? Maybe this time we can avoid shorting it out."
"Hey, it wasn't my fault," Kitty protested as Yomiko chuckled softly.
Drake hit the switch and in a few moments the elevator arrived, the doors sliding open to reveal a figure standing there. Amelia's brown hair flowed over her back as the aviator smiled grimly, her wings folded back to fit into the small cube.
"I'll cover you," Drake brought his gun up, "try to drop her...."
"Stop," Amelia held up her hands in the universal gesture of surrender as she quietly said, "we want to talk."
"We?" Yomiko looked around in confusion.
"Yukio," Kitty looked up instinctively to where the catgirl clung to the ceiling by her claws.
Gracefully Yukio disengaged, dropping down beside Amelia then standing casually. "Yes," she said simply, "we want to talk."
To be continued....